Six Simple Steps To Be Present Now
Ever found it impossible to calm or center yourself while in a difficult situation? Ever felt as though God has abandoned you? I have experienced that too many times to count. In fact, I mastered the art of abandonment.
I have a friend, whom I’ll call Jane, who thought God had abandoned her. Jane was in dire straights. I have known her so long that I’ve watched her young children grow into adults and become parents themselves. Jane has taken as many personal development courses as I have. Actually, we took a lot of them together.
She has had some of the best training on the planet, from some of the most well-known names in the personal evolution. Despite this, she found herself in a very painful place. I once heard Wayne Dyer, a world famous author, tell about a painful time in his life when he heard his inner voice say to him, ‘You’ve tried everything else, why not try God?’
Knowing that God (the Whisper) is found in the present, I suggested to Jane that she practice being present with her current challenge. Her response to me was that she hated being present! Her reaction was a clue that she truly didn’t know what being present was, because if she did, she would not have said that she hated being present. So, I gently informed her that she had never really been present, or she would not hate it. In fact she would feel anything but hate. She would be in love with the present! When she huffed away, I knew that I had hit the right nerve.
A few days later I received a call from Jane. When I heard the sound of her voice I knew that something had shifted, because she was filled with awe! ‘You’re right’ she said. ‘I didn’t know what it was like to be present. I love being present!’ She went on to tell me that when she became present, that she felt safe for the first time in her life!
Jane realized that she had never truly been present in a difficult situation. ‘What I had been present with was my judgment about my situation’ she told me. She understood that being present in the moment with what is, is different than being present with the judgment about what is. Judgment makes something wrong, rather than looking for ‘what’s right’ about it; seeing the perfection of it.
I can sometimes to be difficult to feel the sensations of the Whisper (sensations found in Your Essential Whisper at www.YourEssentialWhisper.com) when your attention is not focused in the present. Let’s face it, when the mind is tripping between the past and the future, it ‘s almost impossible to recognize inner guidance. And when mind is tripping, there is such inner mental static that your inner Whisper becomes muddled and/or misinterpreted.
The Whisper is easiest to discern when you are in the Precious Present.
For years I read a lot of books and had numerous teachers tell me to ‘be present’. No one ever taught me how to do that. Sound familiar? I thought I was just too dense to ‘get it’ at the time. They advised me to meditate. I did. No quiet mind to be found. The only thing I experienced was my mind jumping around like a monkey in a cage, and that monkey was out of control! I thought it was going to take years to train my mind to be still, if I ever could.
Eventually, I learned that not every thought I had was true! It was a wonderful relief to know that just because I think something doesn’t make it true. I learned to question my thoughts to see if they really were true, and whether the thought was bringing me peace or not. I learned that most of the thoughts that brought stress in my life weren’t true.
Dr. John F. Demartini (www.DrDemartini.com) says that these stressful beliefs are illusions. He says if you have seven or more illusions at the same time, you cannot hear your inner voice. Byron Katie of “The Work” (www.TheWork.com) says you can’t change or control your thoughts. You can question them and bring them to truth, but you have no control over them because they just appear. When questioned, the noise subsides. Well, until the next illusion goes marching through your mind for questioning. That is the power of questioning your thoughts (both positive and negative). The mental noise simply ceases!
It’s impossible to have a quiet mind when you are not present.
• When you are in fear you are in the future. Fear=Future
• When you are in guilt (grief and regret) you are in the past. Guilt=Past
• When in peace you are in the present. Peace=Present
When in fear, the mind has projected itself into the future to attempt to change or to gain control over the outcome of someone or something. On the other hand, when we are incomplete with something, attention becomes stuck in the past. In either case, you’re tripping between the past and the future and the present is elusive. Fear and guilt do not exist in the present. As my friend Jane discovered, there is nothing to fear in the present. All is well right here right now, even if the world appears to be collapsing around you. (Did you practice the GETTING PRESENT EXERCISE in last week’s feature article?)
The following procedure is a very simple way to bring your attention into the present moment. It is so simple that the ego may tell you that anything so simple cannot possibly be of value. As you go through the following, it’s important to notice and release any judgments that arise as you do the exercise. Otherwise you will be present with the judgment and not the present.
SIX SIMPLE STEPS TO BECOME PRESENT:
Place your attention on your body. What are you feeling right now? We’ll come back to this in a few moments. For now, just make a mental note to self.
Look around your environment, noticing where your eyes naturally land. What do you see? What textures are present? What colors do you see? Observe the textures and colors with interest. Hang out here for a minute or so. As you stay there for a few moments, you may begin to feel inner warmth or other sensations. Notice how you feel.
What sounds are present in your environment? If you hear sounds that you do not prefer, simply take the judgment off of the sound by becoming curious in the sound, just as if you are child hearing the sound for the first time. What are the qualities of the sound? Are they soft, loud, just right? Are they smooth, staccato, or something else? What feeling does the sound elicit? If the feeling is something you do not prefer, simply notice what you don’t like and allow the resistance to fade away. If you love the sound, notice what you love. Be OK with your feelings around the sound, staying present with what you hear and how you feel. See if you can find other sounds to observe.
Bring your attention to your mouth. What sensations do you feel? Is your mouth dry? Do you need water or is it just right? What tastes are present? (This is especially fun to do when you are eating something appealing. Become present with THAT!)
Take a full inhale and notice the smells wafting through the air. Linger with them for a few moments.
Once again, place your attention on your body. What are you feeling now that you became present with your senses? Do you feel expanded, at peace? What are you noticing now that you are present with your five physical senses? Are you more present; more alert and alive? Which of the senses most easily connect you to your inner self, to the calm presence inside?
Now that you have taken yourself through this the first time, you can use it in your daily life. You simply become present with the five physical senses. It is especially effective to use when you are scattered, overwhelmed, unfocused, confused, or upset. With practice, it will become easier and easier to tune into the present.
Enjoy the present and I’ll meet you again soon!
– first published on 05 Nov 2007